The living state is cognitive at every scale and level of organization. Since it is possible to associate a broad class of cognitive processes with 'dual' information sources, many pathologies can be addressed using statistical models based on the Shannon Coding, the Shannon-McMillan Source Coding, the Rate Distortion, and the Data Rate Theorems, as these impose powerful necessary condition constraints on information generation and exchange, and on system control. Deterministic-but-for-error biological codes do not directly invoke cognition, although they may be essential subcomponents within larger cognitive processes. A formal argument, however, places such codes within a similar framework, with metabolic free energy serving as a 'control signal' stabilizing biochemical code-and-translator dynamics in the presence of noise. Demand beyond available energy supply then expresses itself in punctuated destabilization of the coding channel, affecting a spectrum of essential biological functions. Aging, normal or prematurely driven by psychosocial or environmental stressors, must eventually interfere with the routine operation of such mechanisms, triggering chronic diseases associated with senescence. Amyloid fibril formation, intrinsically disordered protein logic gates, and cell surface glycan/lectin 'kelp bed' logic gates are reviewed from this perspective. The results, however, generalize beyond coding machineries having easily recognizable symmetry modes, and strip a full layer of mathematical complication from the study of phase transitions in nonequilibrium biological systems.